There are reports coming out of the Wall Street Journal and AllThingsD that a search/ads deal between Microsoft and Yahoo will be announced within the next 24 hours. According to the Journal’s coverage:
The likely deal, which has yet to be approved by either company and could still be delayed further, involves Yahoo agreeing to use Microsoft’s search engine on its own sites. But in a shift from earlier discussions, Yahoo would handle selling the text ads that appear next to the search results for its sites and some Microsoft sites, say these people, boosting Yahoo’s share of the search advertising business . . .
Both companies have expressed concern with whether a deal that consolidated the search market under Microsoft or Yahoo would be opposed by regulators for cutting a player out of the market, people familiar with the discussions say. These people say both sides plan to argue that any deal would help both businesses fight online advertising leader Google Inc., enhancing competition.
PaidContent also has some additional information about the potential deal. We’ll weigh in more fully on the terms and implications if/when they’re formally announced.